Ralphie  LbNA # 12887

Placed DateJan 1 2005
CountyOther International
LocationChristchurch, NZ, INT
Found By 55 steps
Last Found Nov 2 2008
Hike Distance?

Thanks to his friends, Esmerelda and Amy, Ralphie the Bison has traveled from Colorado, USA, to a new home in the rocky depths of Barnett Park in Christchurch, New Zealand.

You can find out more about Barnett Park here:

Barnett Park is situated on Main Road, Redcliffs (Ferry Road becomes Main Road once you get into St Andrews Hill / Redcliffs). It has all the generic park-type stuff including large playing fields. If you walk through these, at the back of the park to the right hand side is the beginning of the Barnett Park Walkway.

Go over the stile & take the right hand track. The track is a steady incline up the valley &, if it’s a sunny day, it can get quite hot, as there’s no shade – so bring a sunhat & water with you. This land is also leased for grazing. If you come across sheep on the track, they should move on
ahead of you & get out of the way eventually. Look out for sheep dung.

About 10-15 minutes into the track you should come across a wee seat. Take a breather. Sit & enjoy the view. When you’re ready, keep going on up the track.

Shortly you’ll come across a gate. Go through. A couple of minutes further on, you’ll come across a series of rocks jutting out of the valley wall next to you. If it’s summer, you’ll see a couple of fuchsia trees to the right.

Among the rocks is a little track going up through the trees. It’s not sign posted but seems to be reasonably visible most of the time. Go up this.
Warning – it can be steep, so watch your step. Use the weeds to pull yourself up if you need to. Watch out for nettles.

There is a fuchsia tree just above you & to the left, surrounded by rocks. It is next to the first set of rocks you’ll climb up, just off the main track. Sit behind it so the tree is to your left & you can see the main track below you. Ralphie is lying in wait at the base of the large rock
to your right. He’s quite far in but if you look carefully, you may be able to see him before you reach in.

Please replace him carefully so he won’t be found by casual passerbys. Please also note you are in view of the track if anyone looks up…but it’s amazing just how few people actually do.

If you keep going up the little path you’re on, you’ll get onto the path to Paradise Cave. But unless you’re very tall & agile, you’ll find it quite difficult to negotiate the rocks further up.

Go back onto the main path. Not far on is another little track off the main path – this is the “official” (& easier) track to Paradise Cave which has a small waterfall in it & is quite popular with rock climbers.

Keep going up the main track to get to a large cave at the top of the valley. This was used by pre-European Maori & has an amazing view down the valley out to sea.

You may also note there is a little track that branches off the main track just to the right of the stairs that lead up to the cave. If you follow this (watch out for stinging nettle), you’ll come to a beautiful grotto. Keep following it up as far as you want or can. It’s very peaceful & doesn’t seem to be frequently visited…I find it the highlight of the tramp (but is very wet in winter!)

Stamp and logbook by y-nought, found and transported by Esmerelda of the Splendid Buccaneers, placed by Amy in Christchurch.